Apple loses ground in the tablet market to Android devices

Apple has been riding the wave of success with the iPhone and iPad devices for the past five years. The iPhone was the right product at the right time and the iPad, as much as it was argued that it had more to offer, it was a large iPhone offering the same functionality (minus phone calls) in the larger form factor and only helped established Apple’s mobile device brand.

But now figures from the International Data Corporation (IDC) have shown that Apple’s tablet market share has dropped from 65.5% to 50.4%. And it’s Android based devices from Samsung and Amazon, fighting the fight for Google, that have noticed growth in market share.

This isn’t the beginning of the end for the Cupertino giant either, as the drop in sales is being blamed, in part at least, on consumers waiting for the iPad Mini to hit the stores. Although the sheer number of Android tablets that exist, for nearly every budget, won’t help Apple either. Research director of tablets at IDC, Tom Mainelli, has said:

We believe a sizeable percentage of consumers interested in buying an Apple tablet sat out the third quarter in anticipation of an announcement about the new iPad mini. Now that the new mini, and a fourth-generation full-sized iPad, are both shipping we expect Apple to have a very good quarter. However, we believe the mini's relatively high $329 (£269) starting price leaves plenty of room for Android vendors to build upon the success they achieved in the third quarter.

The tablet market grew 49.5% from this time last year, with all non-Apple devices seeing an increase in shipments. Samsung and Asus (who make the Nexus 7) both saw rises of 325% and 243% respectively.

Adding Microsoft’s Surface and Windows 8 tablets into the mix, the holiday season is going to be a very popular one for gadget lovers.

Source and Image: PC Advisor

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31 Comments

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I don't get what these things try to say? the title is implying that Android is over-taking Apple because like, more people must want Android? but whats the point i going on like that, then in the other breath saying why it's happened.. of course Android will over-take Apple if people stop buying iPad whilst they wait for a new release, if the new release puts them back where they should be then this is absolutely NOT news.

Now lets say no one buys ipads because they want the new release, but then Android still out-does them, then maybe it becomes news.

hell i bought a armv7 dualcore tablet for my android experience and i am loving it cost me 125$aud, now why would iw ant to spend 700$? on apple crap?

DKAngel said,
hell i bought a armv7 dualcore tablet for my android experience and i am loving it cost me 125$aud, now why would iw ant to spend 700$? on apple crap?

Grow up.

This graph is made comparing shipments, not devices sold. How many are still sitting on store shelves? What's the graph look like when you do compare devices sold?

Windows 8 tablets will erode the apple market share also. Most people are waiting for the Surface pro or samsungs aviv tables with S pen to get released.

majortom1981 said,
Windows 8 tablets will erode the apple market share also. Most people are waiting for the Surface pro or samsungs aviv tables with S pen to get released.

No it won't. Where is the GPS on the Surface Tablet? Oh, it is missing you say. How much will the Surface Pro you say? It will be expensive. Sorry, People are not completely stupid with their money. That is why more than likely people will have an iPad over a Macbook. Macbooks are too expensive but they get into the ecosystem with an iPad.

Most people are waiting for a Surface Pro or Samsung Aviv? Source? Not suggesting that Microsoft doesn't have a chance with Windows 8, but it looks like you're just sourcing something you made up.

Windows 8 Tablets =/= Surface. Surface is just one in a sea of tablets. I don't need GPS on a tablet anyway since it's just fine on my phone. Remember to think like a layman consumer, not a tech geek. It will cut into it but not sure by how much.

JamalJenkins said,

No it won't. Where is the GPS on the Surface Tablet? Oh, it is missing you say. How much will the Surface Pro you say? It will be expensive. Sorry, People are not completely stupid with their money. That is why more than likely people will have an iPad over a Macbook. Macbooks are too expensive but they get into the ecosystem with an iPad.

Who needs gps on a tablet? What good is it if you only have wifi?

Only 2 windows 8 tablets have been released so far. The other windows 8 rt and windows 8 tablets have not released yet.


omgben said,
Most people are waiting for a Surface Pro or Samsung Aviv? Source? Not suggesting that Microsoft doesn't have a chance with Windows 8, but it looks like you're just sourcing something you made up.

Bash the article because the article states we believe people Are waiting for the ipad mini. Thats not linked to anything either.

JamalJenkins said,

No it won't. Where is the GPS on the Surface Tablet? Oh, it is missing you say. How much will the Surface Pro you say? It will be expensive. Sorry, People are not completely stupid with their money. That is why more than likely people will have an iPad over a Macbook. Macbooks are too expensive but they get into the ecosystem with an iPad.

Only iPads with cellular radios have GPS chips. Wifi versions do not.

majortom1981 said,

Who needs gps on a tablet? What good is it if you only have wifi?

Only 2 windows 8 tablets have been released so far. The other windows 8 rt and windows 8 tablets have not released yet.



Most industries use tablets for field work now a days. GPS is heavily needed. Just saying.

delesh said,

Only iPads with cellular radios have GPS chips. Wifi versions do not.


We only use Android Tablets and iPads (Verizon Model). All Android Tablets have aGPS and the Verizon and AT&T iPad models have aGPS. We used to use the Yuma running Windows 7 on an Atom processor. Those things cost $3500+ The clients prefer the iPads and Android tablets.

Android will conquer it all in phones and tablets eventually and the commercial OS platforms with expensive products and less market share and less customization/minimalist-style features and design compared to Android will shrink. I hope that happens.

Edited by UXGaurav, Nov 5 2012, 12:21pm :

MsftGaurav said,
Android will conquer it all in phones and tablets eventually and the commercial OS platforms with expensive products and less market share and less customization/minimalist-style features and design compared to Android will shrink. I hope that happens.

I don't because I don't want the only choice to basically be Android. There are people who don't care about market share, or customization, and like minimalist-style features and design. Pretty evident when you look at Apple's growing iPhone sales.

Simple really, lower the price to be JUST above the competitors price, then everyone will buy more iStuff. I know I would.

I really wanted to buy the iPad Mini but then the price of it turned me away, was expecting £160 for it tbh

Dan~ said,
Simple really, lower the price to be JUST above the competitors price, then everyone will buy more iStuff. I know I would.

I really wanted to buy the iPad Mini but then the price of it turned me away, was expecting £160 for it tbh

I find Apple's RRP for the iPad mini to be quite baffling. They've priced the iPad to be competitive, and for the price, you get a decent bit of kit. Compare the price of the iPad Mini to the likes of the Nexus 7 though, and the difference is (potentially) quite off-putting.

Majesticmerc said,

I find Apple's RRP for the iPad mini to be quite baffling. They've priced the iPad to be competitive, and for the price, you get a decent bit of kit. Compare the price of the iPad Mini to the likes of the Nexus 7 though, and the difference is (potentially) quite off-putting.


Most people find it baffling, but Apple's marketing execs are some of the best. They know what they're doing, they have their reasons behind the scenes.

Either way, I'm not buying one for that price Not a first-gen. one, anyway.

Yes, Apple is interested in revenue. Sure, market share is a nice sales pitch for them on their keynotes, but as for the company, the strategy is revenue. And they seem to be doing pretty well there. The iPhone revenue alone during June 2011 - June 2012 was greater than what the entire company named Microsoft made (Windows + Office + Xbox + enterprise software, etc).

Just goes to show how different "success" can be measured in statistics.

It will be interesting to see how the latest generation of Windows Tablets affect this market; more so on how the market chooses to quantify and qualify whether a device is a tablet or a PC. Either way, its going to be an interesting year.

They are not losing any ground to other vendors so to speak but merely the other vendors are selling a few more cruddy devices. Go MS Surface RT!

ingramator said,
They are not losing any ground to other vendors so to speak but merely the other vendors are selling a few more cruddy devices. Go MS Surface RT!

Even if true (which it's not by the way, since Samsung and Amazon are both making mid-high end Android tablets), it doesn't matter. People are buying the product that suits their needs, and evidently a lot of later adopters are looking for Android tablets compared to iPads.

Where Windows RT fits into this, we simply don't know yet. We'll have to wait until Q2 next year to see what happens with respect to surface RT and Pro.

The consumers are buying them wrong
Didn't I see something about all these court cases that Apple have been bringing have damaged their sales as it has actually highlighted that Other manufacturers tablets are "the same as ours"
So they don't want to lay blame there as that would be admitting their own mistake instead choosing to point the finger at a market being primed to buy their new mini.
Lets see how that goes, hope it works out for them but a lot of people I've seen talk about them seem to be asking why they would want a mini as if they were likely to buy an ipad (and they already have) don't now need a second one that is smaller

Of course it will lose ground, you can pick up low-performing budget Androids tablets for hardly any cost. Apple isn't trying to compete in this market.

King Mustard said,
Of course it will lose ground, you can pick up low-performing budget Androids tablets for hardly any cost. Apple isn't trying to compete in this market.

I forgot to add: If the chart above only included mid/high-end Android tablets (i.e the only markets Apple compete in), Apple would trounce them even more.

King Mustard said,
Of course it will lose ground, you can pick up low-performing budget Androids tablets for hardly any cost. Apple isn't trying to compete in this market.

Samsung and Lenovo's tablets are easily as expensive as Apple's, not all are competing on price.

King Mustard said,

I forgot to add: If the chart above only included mid/high-end Android tablets (i.e the only markets Apple compete in), Apple would trounce them even more.

I forgot Apple was in the "high-end" tablet market... After all, they don't currently have any tablets with a quad-core processor, removable/expandable storage, nor more than 1GB of RAM.

Breakthrough said,

I forgot Apple was in the "high-end" tablet market... After all, they don't currently have any tablets with a quad-core processor, removable/expandable storage, nor more than 1GB of RAM.


Typical geek, only thinking about hardware figures and not the fantastic user experience.

Besides, the forth-generation iPad's performance blows all current tablets out of the water. Check the reviews/benchmarks. So for the short time being, they have the best user experience AND best performer

King Mustard said,

I forgot to add: If the chart above only included mid/high-end Android tablets (i.e the only markets Apple compete in), Apple would trounce them even more.

Not sure the real world works like that.

I bought a cheap android android tablet over a year ago. Now I'm looking to upgrade to a higher spec machine. Why would I go for Apple over another android tablet, given I'm now in the Android eco system.

Chris Rollason said,

Not sure the real world works like that.

I bought a cheap android android tablet over a year ago. Now I'm looking to upgrade to a higher spec machine. Why would I go for Apple over another android tablet, given I'm now in the Android eco system.


True. I guess I mean first-time buyers, then

Breakthrough said,

I forgot Apple was in the "high-end" tablet market... After all, they don't currently have any tablets with a quad-core processor, removable/expandable storage, nor more than 1GB of RAM.

Except that the iPad outperforms all those Android tablets with a useless quad-core...
Too many people fall for the trap thinking that higher specs equals higher performance. Well in Android world, that's not really true.